Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shake Your Tail Feathers

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt, and live like it's heaven on Earth." — Mark Twain

Most of us express our distinctiveness in many ways throughout our lives.

We proudly share our offbeat traits and preferences with the world. However, we take great pains to downplay those eccentricities that we ourselves deem odd. Instead of living lives colored by these quirky impulses, we seek out socially acceptable outlets for our peculiarities.

We may not realize that we are editing ourselves in this way because our individual societal awareness is unintentionally attuned to the attitudes of the people we encounter each day.

Over time, we have learned to suppress some of the most fun aspects of individuality.

To rediscover and embrace these buried traits, we need only ask ourselves what we would do if we knew for certain that no one would judge our choices.

Visualizing this can help us to better understand the idiosyncrasies that are an important part of who we are, but seldom manifest in our existence. Perhaps we secretly dream of replacing grown-up, conservative clothing and behavior in favor of a varying array of frivolity.

Our imagination takes us in unexpectedly simple directions. In our musings, we may see ourselves doing things which tend to the nature of our suppressed peculiarities. We may ask what is really stopping us from making them a part of our lives, and then resolve to incorporate at least one into our everyday existence.

We can become our own muse, our own Calliope.

Life as we know it is so short.

Making the most of years we are granted is a matter of being ourselves even though we know that we will inevitably encounter people who disapprove of our choices.

When we shake our tail feathers like no one is watching, we discover that there are many others who appreciate us because we are willing to let go of social inhibition.

By doing this, we help others to know it is okay to do the same.

No two people in the world are precisely alike, and each time we revel in this simple fact, we rededicate ourselves to the celebration of individuality.

Often, the societal nonacceptance of individuality prevents us of certain simple pleasures, and we put off what we would like to do for enjoyment in pursuit of more basic duties and responsibilities.

Procrastination is almost a universal human habit and one that infiltrates nearly every aspect of our lives.

Modern existence is so complex, and much of what we long to do is left by the wayside. We know what is important to our individuality and our happiness, but we tend to let the weight of worldly pressures lead us astray.

To get back on track, however, we need only take a moment to consider where our thoughts will be as we take our last breath on this earth.

More likely than not, at that instant, disagreements, bills, petty annoyances, and other frustrating elements of our lives will no longer seem as significant as they once did.

Remembrances of loved ones and the positive impact we had on the world would no doubt occupy our remaining thoughts. Whatever we imagine ourselves musing upon during our last breath will almost always be representative of what truly matters to us.

This simple exercise introduces us to a new way of thinking.

While our attention is drawn momentarily to the end of life, our contemplations serve to point out that we are masters of our own perspective and, consequently, our own existence.

We can choose to spend more of our time and energy on what gives our lives meaning. We can spend more time with loved ones and do more of what we enjoy. We can learn to allow our inner muse to tend to who we are.

Doing so may not always prove easy, and there will inevitably be times when circumstances interfere with our resolution, yet we do not have to regard this as an indication that our priorities are not in alignment with who we really are. Sometimes the only way we can see the beauty of life is to remind ourselves that it is finite.

Gandhi said, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow."

His words are a potent reminder that living life more fully is not about pushing ourselves harder or shouldering more burdens, but about experiencing all the wonderful richness life has to offer.

So, perhaps this Easter, we will each allow our inner spirit, our childhood, to re-emerge and live within us once again, bringing laughter and fun to the world around us.

After all, our life is a gift that was given for us to enjoy and share; and Life is Heaven on Earth.

With love & light,